We Highlanders never tire of Hangover and its blessings in all seasons. Our friend, AJ, wished to spend his 51st birthday on the rock, so we accompanied him to the sacred spot.
It was time the hound earned his keep. And with a fully loaded pack of my liquids, he made some headway.
Flame azaleas on Lead South were a welcomed surprise on Friday afternoon as we disappeared into laurel and rhodo for three days of bliss.
The trail was in spectacular shape considering the great storm damage from weeks ago. We made good time in our ascent of the traditional pathway to the most beautiful summit in the South.
We met AJ on the rock and he was the company of another Highlander friend.
Yes, its the legendary Patman. Patman has met us and run into us on multiple occasions on the Hangover and elsewhere. Needless to say, Patman, like many others, were relieved that this was not going to be one of the old Hangover bacchanals from days of old. When I assured him there would be none of the drug fueled festivals from which I and others have so assiduously distanced themselves, his relief was palpable. Patman was going to drop down and meet Tipi somewhere near Yellowhammer the next day. He actually carried a 15 lb watermelon up lead trail. That is a feat of great pride. Patman puts in considerable time on the trails and is a gear tester for trailspace.
We communed in the cathedral at magic hour.
Is there ever an ugly sunset on the Hang?
Longstreet climbed down the rocks that lead to the Holiest of Holies. Then he climbed back up. And did it over and over. I know humans that can’t climb down there. We may have found his redeeming quality.
Saturday was AJ’s birthday and he reflected on 51 years of life.
… And we convinced him NOT to jump.
There was too much remaining beauty to behold.
It was cool at 5200 feet so a fire was in order. It is always cool on the Hangover.
All I did was get up to go to the bathroom. You would think he had treed a bear.
I figured he could have scaled that tree after his heroics on the Holies.
I found the old geocache on the Hangover. In it is a book that outlines several of our trips up there, along with varying items through the years.
We sunbathed and moonbathed up there, since both were full at the time. No rain at all. Bugs were minimal.
We moved the fire night two a bit closer to camp. Did I mention that water was flowing? It was a gamble. One that paid off with the recent storms.
Even birthday boy warmed to the General.
Nothing but magic on that rock.
Shout out to the Muir Faction. The meat and cheese board lives thanks to you guys.
My only complaint about climbing to the Hangover is the amount of photos I have to cull.
Happy birthday to AJ.
Peace to all. As John Muir said, Climb the mountain and receive its good tidings.